treehat: Block print of a tree. (Default)
So, while browsing Twitter with a massive headache yesterday, I came across this interview with Skin Deep creator Kory Bing. (Side note: If you don't already read Skin Deep, I highly recommend it. The art and writing are both good, it's madly creative, and it's probably one of the best long-form comics on the web, along with Digger.)

About halfway through, though, something hit me. I was flooded with a great big wave of regret for not doing any comics writing in years. As bad and short-lived as it was, I missed writing Kitewinds. I missed trying to get into the "weird writing place"* where the story took over my brain. I missed trying to plan out characters, only to have them go in a completely different direction. I missed hiding lame puns in dialogue. I missed trying to create a story, a background, a mythos, and a world to put them in. I missed not being able to decide on the tone of the story. I missed putting ideas to the page and seeing them illustrated. And, oddly, I missed being absolutely terrible at it all. Looking back, I don't even mind the bad parts of the creative process; in fact, I think I enjoy them.

But mostly, I just miss sitting down with a cup of tea and just writing. Just letting my mind flow into words and onto the page. And then seeing those ideas, no matter how strange or poorly worded or stupid they seemed given shape and form by an artist. To see my ideas become, in some small part, physical. Making something from nothing.

True, I could just start writing again. But without it actually ending up as a comic, without some sort of end result past the words... I dunno. It feels empty, somehow.


* To borrow a phrase from Wil Wheaton.
treehat: (Look Around You - Evil)
Butterflies scare me.

No, that's not quite right. They disturb me, at some subconscious level. When I see one, I recoil not out of fear, but because some tiny bit of my mind is screaming that they are wrong. Wrong like a triangle with four corners. That tiny bit is steadfast in its insistence that they are impossible, even when one is fluttering about in front of me.

The thing is, I don't have a problem with pictures of butterflies, or even videos. But when they're right there, something in my head blows a fuse.

I sort of regard them as quasi-mythical at times. Like something that should be restricted to the pages of a fantasy book, but they just don't know it. I actually created a weird worldmyth around a giant space butterfly. It had been around for so long in a cocoon that life and civilizations had taken up residence. When it matured, millennia later, mountain ranges split apart as it emerged, flinging said civilizations flying into the vacuum of space. (I'm probably using all the wrong terms here, too.) Giant Space Butterfly was a sort of world-god, and one with a time limit.

And yet, whenever I'm at a zoo or museum or whatever that happens to have a butterfly house, I think to myself, "Oh, I'm not that scared!" ...And almost immediately regret it when I step in, a sharp chill runs up and down my spine and I do my best to get through as quickly as possible without having a complete and total mental implosion.

I don't know why I'm writing all this. Just brainspew fueled from operating on far too little sleep, I guess. I keep coming back to this story in my head of butterflies being discovered to me some cosmic horror - a little glitch in the universe. In their flutter's wake, time folds in on itself and rips tiny little holes, through which we get pinhole glimpses of the impossible. And I keep wanting to write it, but I can't figure out how.

(And if I get really low on sleep, I might start believing my stories...)
treehat: Block print of a tree. (Default)
So. I've been reading Flatland recently. In a word, it is awesome. In two words, really awesome. In three words, really awesome, seriously. I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Anyway, I've been inspired by Flatland. What follows is loosely based on it and ideas regarding seven-dimensionality that have been mulling about in my head for the past year or two. I might expand on this, but for now, this is the short (and very much unfinished) introduction to "Seveice."

This is …

My gods, this is different. Such archaic devices you use! Strange, very strange indeed.

I suppose I should introduce myself. Or I would, had I a name understandable by your meager senses. I am … a visitor of sorts. My existance is not constrained to you four dimensions - three of space and one of time. Rather, I exist in what can roughly be called Seveice, a "space" comprised of seven dimensions - four of space and three of time. I will admit, however, that the fourth dimension of space is a bit of a tease, even to us, as we cannot move within it much unless we are aided by landscape or machine, much as you cannot much change your position in height unless the ground slopes upward or you hop in an aeroplane.

We are also victims of the landscape of time, but not slaves to it as you are. Blindly, almost arrogantly, you percieve time as a constant, when it is in fact a dimension. Even the dumbest of our idiots know better than that. You even have "timelines," for crying out loud! That almost screams temporal incompetence!

I apologize. That was rude of me. Now, about time. You see, time does not flow, nor march, nor even drag along. It does not move at all. It is, in fact, a landscape. But I'm getting ahead of myself. You must see in two dimensions before you can imagine a third. Imagine, if you will, a flat surface stretching to infinity, much like one of your Cartesian planes. But this is a plane in time, not space. Now, the "horizontal" axis (I will, for simplicity call it the X-axis) represents your perception of time. Highlighted on that line are segments and points, signifying events that have happened, are happening, or will happen. (More on the branching of possible futures later. Just follow along for now.) But look beyond the line, above and below it, and you will see that the points and segments are but the areas where the axis intersects strange yet organic-seeming blotches. (For your sanity, assume the blotches are static. I'm not sure you're ready to think about Multireal Timestates. At least, not without a heavy amount of substances of questionable legality in your bloodstream.) Those blotches are also the events, on all the different possible timelines. This is the timeplane.

I know that look. You think I'm mad, don't you. If so, then I think you're nuts for not being able to grasp this, so the feeling's roughly mutual.

Still not convinced? Alright, then. Imagine a sheet of white fabric. A design is drawn on the fabric in dark red ink. Were you to seperate a single string from the fabric, you would have a white line with red segments on it. Thus, the string is your timeline and the fabric as a whole is the timeplane.

Now toss away that fabric so we can continue. What? Oh, don't worry. I've got a million more of 'em in my backpack.

So, you may now be wondering what all those other timelines are doing. (Literally, they're not doing much at all. Just sittin' there.) In fact, they represent all the alternate realities possible for a one-dimensional time-being (such as yourself) to exist in. The exact nature of timeplanes is, in the simplest terms, really bloody complex. That's like a child asking why the sky is blue: they aren't likely to get an answer, and if they do, they're likely to tilt their head and say "what?" after a hour-long lecture on the atmosphere. That said, I'll talk more about this later. Why? Perhaps because I enjoy suffering. That right there is a true mystery.

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August 2011

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